Keeping our capital working for the UK

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Business leaders share first thoughts on the Industrial Strategy Green Paper

London First members convened to discuss their initial thoughts on the government’s Industrial Strategy green paper, and the opportunities and risks it poses for London. The event was the first step in London First’s response to the green paper, which will present the government with an evidence-based case for how a successful London can support UK-wide growth.

There was widespread agreement the green paper did not sufficiently recognise London’s need for continued access to a range of skill sets. Accessing the right mix of skills and talent to growth will be a huge challenge in post-Brexit London, with health care and hospitality sectors most vulnerable to unfilled vacancies. Raising productivity through technology and automation was also discussed. There is a need to invest in soft employability skills to ensure workers are agile enough to adapt to the changing employment landscape.

The critical role infrastructure investment plays in driving jobs and growth was firmly recognised. Strong transport and infrastructure helps to drive and support private investment, particularly in housing where the need in London is acute. Good digital infrastructure means better connected businesses and consumers, and is critical to opening opportunities for growth. However, London needs greater fiscal devolution to enable long-term investment where it’s most needed.

Addressing these challenges will require London to work in partnership with other cities and regions across the country. London First’s response to the green paper consultation will raise these issues, which we explored in our recent report with the Social Market Foundation 2026: London’s place in the UK economy.

For more information about our work on the Industrial Strategy, please contact David Lutton

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